Nat Turner’s Revolt and Its Effects


Books & Media:

Berlin, Ira, “American Slavery in History and Memory and the Search for Social Justice” The Journal of American History 90.4 (2004): 51 pars. 20 Jun. 2006.
This article discusses how history is viewed differently over time and how the history and memory of slavery in particular has changed, and is available at

Boyer, Paul et al, editors. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1990. Chapter 10: “The Old South and Slavery, 1800-1860”
Discusses the debate over emancipation of slaves in Virginia and the differences between the Upper and Lower South.

Foner, Eric and John A. Garraty, editors. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Entries on “Rebellions”: p.917 and “Slavery” pp.996-967. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
This text described the events of Nat Turner’s rebellion and the results of his rebellion. The text mentioned the other main slave rebellions of the time and compared and contrasted them as well.

Gregson, Susan R. Nat Turner Rebellious Slave. Mankato: Bridgestone Books, 2003.
This book details Turner’s life, as well as providing details and information on slavery at the time, as well as other important events that were occurring during this time period.

Neshama, Rivvy. Nat Turner and the Virginia Slave Revolt. Chanhassen, MN: The Child’s World, 2001.
This book details Nat Turner’s life from childhood to his death. It explains his religious beliefs and motivations.

Oates, Stephen B. “The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion” in Oates, Stephen B. and Charles J. Errico, editors. Portrait of America: Volume I: To 1877. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.
This chapter describes the features of Southampton County. It details Turner’s religious beliefs and the events leading up to as well as the actual events that occurred during his rebellion. It concludes by discussing the effects of the rebellion and the various perspectives on what needed to be done because of the rebellion.

Olwell, Russell. “New Views of Slavery: Using Recent Historical Work to Promote Critical Thinking about the Peculiar Institution.” The History Teacher 34.4 (2001): 46 pars. 20 Jun. 2006.
This article discusses how slavery was different dependent upon the time and place and is available at

Tragle, Henry Irving. The Southhampton Slave Revolt of 1831. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971.
Provides different primary source materials from the time, including newspaper articles, trial records, and Governor Floyd’s diary. Selections from this book are used in the lessons.


Authentic and impartial narrative..massacred by blacks, by Samuel Warner
This article was written in 1831 by a white man who decries Turner’s rebellion and portrays Turner as a deceptive and cunning man. However, Warner states that slavery is in opposition to the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.
North American Slavery in Comparative Perspective: Nat Turner’s Insurrection, by Anne Hartline
This newspaper article from the time by a white man describes Turner as artful, impudent, and vindictive. He said that he only pretends to be a preacher. Suggestions are given by the teacher for questions to probe students’ thinking. This article is used in the planned lessons.
This shows a woodcut created by Samuel Warner titled “Horrid Massacre in Virginia.” This source is used in the lessons.
This source provides a section of Turner’s Confessions, as well as a paragraph explaining the context and the motivations of other leaders who led slave rebellions.
Nat Turner in History’s Multiple Mirrors, by Felicia R. Lee.
Discusses the fact that there is little evidence about Nat Turner and that views of him are dependent largely upon the viewer’s personal worldview.
Nat Turner, Lightning Rod
This article details the events of the rebellion, as well as various perspectives of people at the time, and in present day.
“The Confessions of Nat Turner”
Nat Turner explains his motivation for his revolt, as well as what occurred before, during, and after the rebellion.
The Richmond Enquirer on Nat Turner’s Rebellion
Provides an excerpt from a newspaper account describing the men involved in the slave rebellion as blood-thirsty wolves. It calls for a stricter enforcement of the law and the forbidding of black men to preach. This site also gives an extract of a letter from Jerusalem, VA denouncing Turner and applauding the slaves who stood by their masters.
This source provides Turner’s Confessions, as well as context information on the circumstances in which he gave his confessions, and Gray’s perspective on Nat Turner.
This site provides a biography of William Lloyd Garrison.
This source provides the complete confessions of Nat Turner. The Confessions of Nat Turner are used in the lessons.